This is The Tiptoer waiting on the plane with tired eyes. (The plane didn't have tired eyes, she did.)
I planned to travel back home with the 5 kids myself (and with Big Ben in my lap). I know, I know...I've heard it, "What were you THINKING?!" But miraculously, after I purchased my tickets, God provided a helper to me. A recent high school graduate decided to come and volunteer at the school and with our family for a semester. She was able to get on my flight. She provided wonderful services for me...she pushed a stroller, she let me go in the restroom alone (otherwise just picture me in the handicapped stall with all 5 kids), she offered the empty seat next to her to the girls during the long 9 hour flight (which in turn gave me a seat for my chubby boy), she even told me when one of my kids was about to throw up and enabled us to make it to the airplane bathroom in time. I was so thankful!
I have to brag on my kids, they are just really good travelers. They did super. No tears, except one little 5 minute episode from my 10 month old boy on the very last flight. And that was after about 17 hours of travel.
On our long flight, we had personal tv screens, so we got to pick what to watch. The kids had so much fun pressing and un-pressing the overhead lights, playing video games via a touch screen, and watching all the cartoons programmed into the system. I didn't sleep. I never do. Do I think someone is going to kidnap my child and stow them away under the plane like that Jody Foster movie? Nah. But I still can't sleep until they are all safe and sound and bathed and changed out of airplane clothes and in their own beds. Then the sweet sleep comes.
We are getting over jet lag. In fact, this has been one of the easiest years I can remember. By the 3rd night, they all slept all night. It is supposed to take a person one day per time zone. So that should have put us sleeping all night and refreshed in the morning in 8 days. We do have some strategies that help. My sister in law has told me to write a book about world travel with kids. I don't think I could write an entire book, but perhaps a pamphlet. In the 'Jet Lag' section, I would suggest sunlight, lots of water, no naps, and some type of cheerful outdoor activity before bed. It really does work.
The whole theme of this post was going to be a photo I took of Big Ben...all chubby cheeked and snoozing in Firstborn's lap. I was just going to post the photo with one line...it would say, "Jet Lag" because it was so adorably cute that he slumped down and couldn't stay awake. But of course, in order to post that photo, I'd need to get my camera, hook it up, download it, then upload it, then post it. And you know what? I'm a little sleepy from crossing those 8 time zones. Goodnight.